Collection: Junya Watanabe

Junya Watanabe, many of you may recognize his name & link it to his infamous work at Comme des Garcons, renowned for his Avant-Garde style. He is particularly known for his innovation of new cutting concepts, draping techniques & ingenious sourcing of fabrics!

But who's the man behind these designs & what were his roots to founding such talent? Junya Watanabe is a man of few words, not much is known about him outside the fashion realm. However, he is a man deep in his thoughts & strong in his decisions. He does not look at the world, rather observes it & draws inspiration whenever needed to strengthen his creative decisions, then moves forwards to continue to pursue timeless creations.

Born in Fukushima, Japan, well known to many people Junya had a special upbringing with roots in a seamstress mother. Which owned her make-to-order sewing shop. It is evident, Junya grew up in a creative environment, with deep roots rooted in sewing. With his mother by his side, he would learn many small tricks from years of work through his mother. Furthermore, what may have been the final gateway to his success would be through the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. Many notable designers were sprung from this school such as Jun Takahashi & Yohji Yamamoto. 

Shortly after graduating, Rei Kawakubo noticed Junya’s work & hired him as a pattern cutter in 1984. Within three short years, Junya Became the head of CDG women’s tricot knitwear line. Being Rei Kawakubo’s protege in 1992 she gave him full creative control along with his self-titled “Junya Watanabe” line. Starting in 1993 he presented his first womenswear collection in Paris fashion week. This collection marked the beginning of a new era, as he showcased how he can use otherwise familiar & classic cuts, yet still, showcase them in a manner that the masses have not yet seen.

In terms of inspiration, Junya stated in an interview with T-Magazine that it was Issey Miyake that had a large influence on his work ethic & the reasons why he works with such unique textiles. This influence was first shown for his Spring/Summer 2000 collection “Function and Practicality” in which the title itself you can see where the influence was. Models on the runway wore reversible garments, which were showcased midway through the runway when they were instructed to help each other reverse the garment to show its practicality. Preceding this legendary collection for Junya, in 2001 He expanded his self-titled line with the introduction of “Junya Watanabe MAN” which helped cement his name in the fashion realm. He continued to expand on ideas & develop his brand pushing the limits of what can be considered a practical everyday piece yet playing with the boundaries of simplicity.